Small Elephants in Bandarlampung Indonesia

On the southern tip of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia is the city of Bandarlampung, a city that has suffered a fair amount of tragedy, and where a rare elephant is being preserved for posterity.

Bandarlampung is an amalgamation of two separate towns; Tanjungkarang which scales the hilly areas and Teluk Betung which is situated on the coast of Lampung Bay. Tragedy occurred here on 26th August, 1883 when the single biggest eruption in modern times took place. The city faces the remains of the once magnificent volcano Krakatau. On that day the volcano exploded with such immense power that massive volcanic materials blasted many kilometres high causing a gaping gash in its crater and the mountain imploded and sank. The boiling sea brought about huge tsunami waves of more than 10 metres high, which quickly hit the coastline where Bandarlampung now stands drowning about 36,000 people.

As a reminder of this disaster, a huge steel buoy that was washed up from the sea has been made as monument commemorating this huge eruption and ensuing tsunami.

Just 110 kilometres north of the city is the Way Kambas National Park, where approximately 200 Sumatran elephants live within the park. The Sumatran elephant is one of three recognized subspecies of the Asian Elephant, and native to Sumatra Island. In general, Asian elephants are smaller than those of Africa and have the highest body point on the head.

Among the Asian elephants, the Sumatran elephants are the smallest, with a shoulder height ranging between 2 meters and 3.2 meters (6.6ft. To 10.5ft).

An Elephant Training Centre was established in the park on 1985 and reminiscent of the time when kings or sultans ruled Sumatra, when elephants were trained and deployed in warfare and also for ceremonial purposes. Here, visitors can observe elephants perform various tasks such as transporting lumber or ploughing fields.

Many other rare beasts can be found within the park, including Sumatran rhinos, Sumatran tigers, tapirs and jungle dogs.

Getting to the park can be a little difficult as the road from the nearest town to the park Rajabasa Lama is not in peak condition, and you will need to hire an “ojek”, a motorbike taxi, driver to take you there.

For accommodation the Satwa Sumatra Elephant Ecolodge is located just outside the main entrance to the park. You can also stay in lodges at the Elephant Training Centre or choose to camp at designated camping grounds within the park.

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